Three essays on food security, food demand and welfare program participation
The relationship among food security, food away from home and welfare program participation is examined in the dissertation. Current Population Survey data are used to identify and compare the effects of family structure, income sources, and demographic information on food stamp program participation and food consumption based on different food security status. In addition, Iowa administration data are used to compare the effects of local socioeconomic situation on family investment program participation between rural and non-rural areas. Analysis in the first paper uses a bivariate ordered probit model and the results show that the effects of family structure, income sources and demographic variables are larger for food secure and hungry households than for food secure households. The second paper uses two-stage budgeting and a double hurdle model and shows that food secure households are more likely to eat out and spend more on food away from home than do food insecure households. A sample selection model is used in the third paper and the results of this paper show that program participation status is affected more by the local labor market situation for rural households than for those living in nonrural areas.